On May 26, 1937, Marshal Tukhachevsky and Commanders Yakir, Uborevich, Eideman, Kork, Putna, Feldman and Primakov were arrested and tried in front of a military tribunal. Their execution was announced on July 12.
They had been under suspicion since the beginning of May. On May 8, the political commissar system, used during the Civil War, was reintroduced in the army. Its reintroduction reflected the Party's fear of Bonapartist tendencies within the army.
Getty, op. cit. , p. 167.
A May 13, 1927 Commissar of Defence directive ended the control that the political commissars had over the highest officers. The military commander was given the responsibility for `general political leadership for the purpose of complete coordination of military and political affairs in the unit'. The `political assistant' was to be responsible for `all party-political work' and was to report to the commander on the political condition of the unit.
Carr, op. cit. , p. 325.
The Tolmachev Military Political Academy in Leningrad and the commissars of the military district of Byelorussia protested against `the depreciation and diminution of the rôle of the party-political organs'.
Ibid. , p. 327.
Blomberg, a superior German officer, made a report after his visit to the USSR in 1928. He noted: `Purely military points of view step more and more into the foreground; everything else is subordinated to them'.
Ibid. , p. 320.
Since many soldiers came from the countryside, kulak influence was substantial. Unshlikht, a superior officer, claimed in 1928 and 1929 that the danger of Right deviation was greater in the Army than in the Party's civil organizations.
Ibid. , p. 331.
In 1930, ten per cent of the officer corps, i.e. 4500 military, were former Tsarist officers. During the purge of institutions in the fall of 1929, Unshlikht had not allowed a massive movement against the former Tsarist officers in the Army.
Ibid. , p. 317.
These factors all show that bourgeois influence was still strong during the twenties and the thirties in the army, making it one of the least reliable parts of the socialist system.